Former John Birch Society member who founded the Church of the Creator and the Nationalist White Party
At one point Klassen was a Florida state legislator as a Republican, as well as a supporter of George Wallace's presidential campaign. In addition to his religious and political work, Klassen was an electrical engineer and was the inventor of a wall-mounted electric can-opener.
On March 26, 1956, Klassen filed an application with the U.S. Patent Office to patent a wall-mounted, electric can opener which he marketed as Canolectric. In partnership with the marketing firm Robbins & Myers, Klassen created Klassen Enterprises, Inc. In the face of competition from larger manufacturers that could provide similar products more cheaply, Klassen and his partners dissolved the company in 1962.
Klassen served Broward County in the Florida House of Representatives from November 1966 – March 1967, running on an anti-busing, anti-government platform. He campaigned for election to the Florida Senate in 1967, but was defeated. That same year, he was vice chairman of an organization in Florida which supported George Wallace for president.
Klassen was a member of the John Birch Society, at one point operating one of its American Opinion bookstores. Klassen became disillusioned with the JBS because of what he viewed as its tolerant position towards Jews.
In November 1970, Klassen, along with Austin Davis, created the Nationalist White Party. The party's platform was directed at White Christians and it was explicitly religious and racial in nature; the first sentence of the party's fourteen-point program is "We believe that the White Race was created in the Image of the Lord..." The logo of the Nationalist White Party was a "W" with a crown and a halo over it, and it would be used three years later as the logo of the Church of the Creator.
Less than a year after he created the Nationalist White Party, Klassen began expressing apprehension about Christianity..
In 1973 Klassen founded the Church of the Creator (COTC) with the publication of Nature's Eternal Religion. Individual church members are called Creators, and the religion they practice is called Creativity.
In 1982, Klassen established the headquarters of his church in Otto, North Carolina. There he established a school for boys. The original curriculum was a two-week summer program that included activities such as "hiking, camping, training in handling of firearms, archery, tennis, white water rafting and other healthy outdoor activities", as well as instruction on "the goals and doctrines of Creativity and how they could best serve their own race in various capacities of leadership."
In July 1992 George Loeb, a minister of the church, was convicted of murdering a black sailor in Jacksonville Florida. Fearing that a conviction might mean the loss of 20 acres of land worth about $400,000 in Franklin, North Carolina belonging to the church, Klassen sold it to another white supremacist, William Luther Pierce, the author of the Turner Diaries, for $100,000.
Klassen was Pontifex Maximus of the church until January 25, 1993, when he transferred the title to Dr. Rick McCarty.